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Eurovision Transvestites
Transvestite acts and tranny singers are an inevitable if not essential feature of the Eurovision Song Contest (though it's fair to say that many of the acts are more correctly described as drag queens than transvestites but we won't hold that against them just this once). Maybe it's the glamour of the event, or maybe it's the campness of it, either way, there must be many a European who's first (and possibly only) encounter with a tranny will be (ironically) on their TV, singing on the stage of one of the contest's host nations. At Trans-MISSION we love the Eurovision and so here is our tribute to those drag queens, dollies and divas who have tripped the tranny light fantastic under the glaring eyes of millions of Europeans.
 

Dana International

1998 israel
Dana InternationalRepresenting Israel, Dana was the infamous winner of the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest which was held in Birmingham in the UK. Dana, who arguably started the Eurovision's connection with trannies, is a transsexual, having been born as a boy and then having had gender re-assignment surgery. She one of the very few acts that have attempted to enter the competition twice as she represented Israel again at the 2011 Song Contest in Düsseldorf, Germany where, sadly, she did not make it beyond the semi-finals.
 

Sestre

2002 slovenia
SestreSlovenian drag act Sestre sang 'Samo Lzjubezen' (meaning 'Only Love' in English) in the 2002 Song Contest which was held in Talinn, Estonia. They came 14th in the final (the UK came joint 3rd). The group appeared at Eurovision dressed as flight attendants, wearing white shirts, white gloves, stocking, high heels, red cap, lipstick, glittery red suits and skirts - not an unusual outfit for transvestites. They had dark hair at the time, not the nice blonde hairdos shown in the picture on the right. The song's selection led to anti-gay activists taking to the streets of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana in protest!
 

Mariana Popova

2006 bulgaria
AsizWhen the winner of the Bulgarian national song contest, Mariana Popova was announced in 2006, the fact that she would be accompanied in the competition in Athens, Greece, by transvestite Asiz caused a bit of a stir. Asiz is a bit of an Eddie Izzard character, retaining certain male aspects (like a beard) whilst wearing feminine make up and wearing female clothes. The song, 'Let Me Cry', only made it as far as the semi-finals of the Song Contest and if you had seen the performance (it's still on YouTube if you go and look) you would be hard pressed to spot Asiz, who ends up standing on a plinth in the background dressing in naught more interesting than a boring khaki suit.
 

Вєрка Сердючка

2007 ukraine
Verka SerduchkaVerka Serduchka (Вєрка Сердючка in Ukrainian) is apparently quite famous in her home country. Verka came second in the 2007 Eurovision held in Helsinki, Finland with a song called 'Dancing Lasha Tumbai' which amazingly reached number 28 in the UK charts. The song was very odd, and as for the costume, odd doesn't begin to approach it. Seduchka is a drag queen character realised by comic Andriy Danylko and has sold over half a million records in the Ukraine. Like many transgendered acts in the Eurovision, the performance was not without its controversy with the Ukrainian government claiming the act was 'grotesque and vulgar'.
 

DQ

2007 denmark
DQ (Drama Queen)2007 was clearly a vintage year for trannies in the Eurovision. The aptly named 'DQ' (officially short for 'Drama Queen' but perhaps a reference to being a drag queen too) was Denmark's entry that year with a self-titled song entitled 'Drama Queen'. The song did not, however, make it past the semi-final where it came just 19th out of the 28 songs competing for a place in the final. DQ tried to enter Eurovision again in 2008, this time representing Switzerland, but was beaten in the national competition by Paulo Meneguzzi who, like DQ, failed to make it past the semi-final.
 

Dustin the Turkey

2008 ireland
Dustin the TurkeyOK, so the Irish entry to the 2008 Eurovision was a turkey, not a transvestite, so why is he on our list? It's not for the song, 'Irlande Douze Pointe'. Despite starting with the lyrics, 'Bad acts and drag acts...' Dustin's backing entourage comprised two rather fetching trannies. Like many acts of its ilk, it came in for some stick from the Irish public and from Irish Eurovision veteran Dana. Also like its ilk, it failed to make it also beyond the semi-finals. Still, better than Jedward, eh?
 

The Toppers

2009 the netherlands
The ToppersAs with Dustin above, this song was not performed by trannies, however The Toppers decided that in order to increase their chances of winning the 2009 Song Contest held in Moscow, Russia, they would have a couple of drag queens provide the backing vocals. Sadly, it didn't work out for them, as 'Shine' flailed in the semi-finals and didn't make it to the final. Weird costumes too, with the trannies dressed in white, playing what appear to be portable CD turntables: were these CD decks meant to allude to their cross-dressing, one wonders?!
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